Since 1854, Louis Vuitton has led the way in the world of fashion, creating iconic designs and accessories season after season. For his first-ever collection as creative director, Nicolas Ghesquière looked to the brand’s history for inspiration. Using the original LV luggage trunk as his muse, Ghesquière took the interior – perhaps an under-appreciated detail of the signature travel bags – a distinctive malletage pattern embossed on supple lambskin leather, and made it the main material of the Fall/Winter 2014 accessories.
The ancestral malletage technique uses threads of ribbons on the interior leather, via a taping method, resulting in a distinguishable diamond pattern. Blending modernity and tradition, the malletage bags and shoes pay homage to the very first Louis Vuitton collection, celebrating the brand from another viewpoint. Speaking on combining the old with the new, Ghesquière explains, “Louis Vuitton refreshes the world of fashion with an untiring ebb and flow of retrospective and fresh perspective.
This season, Ghesquière presents creations that fans of the brand, both old and new, are sure to appreciate. Using the malletage craft, the new ‘Doc’ bag, a reinterpretation of the signature ‘Speedy’, follows a similarly curved shape as the celebrated design, yet with a singular top handle and long, removable shoulder strap. The brand’s ‘Alma’ bag has been revamped also with the malletage technique, and is available in a small and classic size. Not one to shy away from creativity, Ghesquière introduced a completely new shoulder bag for fall, the ‘Pochette Flap’, which debuted on the runway in Paris earlier this year. With its renowned ‘S-lock’ – the same lock used on the historic trunks – and leather-covered chain strap, this bag is sure to become a classic of Louis Vuitton.
Click through the gallery for a closer look at the malletage story of Louis Vuitton.
Louis Vuitton ‘Malletage’
An Exclusive Story On Combining Traditional Techniques with Innovative Materials and Designs
The iconic Louis Vuitton luggage trunks, featuring the innovative ‘S-lock’.
An old photo shows the ‘Malle a Tiroirs’ carrier, with the malletage interior.
The malletage up close from a bag for dame Mrs. William Twombley in 1895.
The iconic ‘Alma’ in the brand’s signature monogrammed leather.
The revamped ‘Alma’ using the malletage technique for Fall/Winter 2014.
The lambskin leather material used for the Fall/Winter 2014 accessories, created using the malletage technique and diamond pattern.
A close up of one of the season’s shoe interiors, incorporating the malletage leather.